Mixed Research Designs

Introduction

The mixed research approach usually entails the use of two research methods which are the qualitative and quantitative methods. The two are applied to one study or several studies that are related. After doing the research, the researcher integrates the two findings. Different research approaches have their own strengths as well as weaknesses. This necessitates the use of different approaches which are supplementary to each other. The strengths of the two approaches are combined while their weaknesses are neutralized hence producing superior results. That is what the mixed approach does as it combines the strengths of the qualitative and quantitative methods hence producing superior results (Johnson, 2011).

In the qualitative approach for instance, the researcher is able to interview or observe a sample of the given population hence obtaining the firsthand information. Such interviews are particularly effective when a smaller population is involved. The researcher is able to use such information to formulate questionnaires which can be used to target a larger population. In the event of conflicting results, the researcher is able to do an intensive research using either of the methods hence producing more accurate results.

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Mixed research designs are relevant in the research literature as they provide a guideline for the given research project. The design is quite significant in the identification of the research problem. This research design entails the use of two research techniques namely the qualitative and the quantitative methods. The qualitative method forms a basis for the literature review hence guiding the researcher to conduct an effective literature review. This is important in ensuring an effective quantitative research. All this is significant in the formulation of the appropriate research questions.

Sample Mixed Methods Research Study

The Influence of Media Violence

The purpose of the research is to determine the effects that media violence has on people and whether there is a difference in the effect of such violence across the genders. A group of youth are sampled and divided into different groups. They are then exposed to films that have different magnitudes of violence. The boys are separated from girls and they are further subdivided to minor groups which are then exposed to films with varying levels of violence. Some of the research questions formulated for this research include the following;

  1. Does the violence in the media cause violent behavior among the population?
  2. Is the level of violence in the media proportional to the aggressive behavior exhibited by an individual?
  3. Does the effect of aggression caused by violence in the media vary across the genders?
  4. Is the level of attention to the violence in the media proportional to the aggressive behavior exhibited by an individual?
  5. Does the level of attention to the violence in the Media vary across the two genders?

The major methods of data collection used in this case include; sampling; in this method, the researcher takes part of the population under study to act as a representative of the whole population. In the mentioned case a few girls and boys are taken for the study. The other method used is observation where the researcher observes the behavior of the population under study without necessarily influencing or putting any conditions to the subjects under study.

In this case the researcher observes the subject’s behavior afterwards in terms of aggression levels and notes down. The other method employed is experimentation where the researcher puts subjects under certain conditions and observes their response to the conditions. In this case the researcher subjects the boys and girls to varying levels of media violence and notes their reactions to these conditions.

This method or research is more effective as it combines the qualitative and quantitative methods hence pulling the strengths of the two methods together and neutralizing their weaknesses. The method is applicable to a smaller as well as a larger population whereas the qualitative is mainly effective in the case of a smaller population and it is effective within a smaller area. The quantitative method is on the other hand effective when a larger and widely dispersed population is involved (Johnson, 2011).

Mixed Method and the Mixed Model Research

In the mixed method, the qualitative and quantitative methods of research are used. It is a preferred method as the two research methods supplement each other hence leading to more accurate conclusions and recommendations. Those who prefer this method are known to adhere to the compatibility thesis which stipulates that the qualitative and quantitative methods are much compatible. They also adhere to the philosophy of pragmatism which stipulates that the most suitable method or methods need to be used while carrying out a research so as to come up with the most accurate results.

A good example might be when trying to find out the effect that breast cancer has on the patients, a qualitative research can be carried out on a smaller sample of the population and the findings used to formulate questionnaires for the quantitative research approach on a wider population. In the mixed model research, the two methods; qualitative and quantitative methods are incorporated during the research process. The mixed model research has two subtypes; the ‘within-stage’ as well as the ‘Across-stage type.’ In the former, the qualitative and quantitative methods are used within a given stage or stages in the process. A good example is whenever questionnaires that contain qualitative and quantitative questions are issued to a population. In the latter, the qualitative and quantitative processes are used across the various stages.

Reference

Johnson, B. (2011). Educational Research: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Approaches. London: SAGE Publications, Inc.

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